Two days ago in my culinary class I had the loveables making cake cookies...we do this often, they're cheap and easy to make.
Most times we use an ice cream scooper to make really large cookies...they are baked in a professional convection oven.
Stressing the importance of having the cookies be uniform in size I suggested to one of the loveables that since he didn't have enough dough left to make another cookie that he should divide what he had left and add it to any of his other cookies that might be "needy"..."add it to the deserving cookies" I teased.
He proceeded to go to each cookie and comment...
"You are stupid" he said to one.
"You are ugly" he said to another.
"You are too fat already" he said to a third.
"You are black" he said to the fourth.
I was stunned silent.
I hoped his stupid comment went past my African American co-worker.
There were four staff around that large table and not a damn one of us said one word.
But I'm positive we all heard it...there was no way we didn't.
This incident took me back to something that happened to me in high school...I was in ninth grade and had a wonderful friend named Jackie.
My high school was mixed (I won't say diverse, because we weren't)..we were mixed.
There were the blacks and there were the whites.
And once in a while we mixed.
I'm Caucasian and Jackie is African American.
Back then we called ourselves White and Black.
Jackie was a tall, leggy beautiful girl.
And she was funny as hell.
We talked every day at school and often on the phone.
One day I was telling her a funny story and in the middle of it I said the "N" word...it slipped out of my mouth and before I could catch it, it landed in the middle of Jackie's and my friendship.
Like a lead balloon.
I pretended like I didn't say it.
Jackie pretended like she didn't hear it.
But our friendship was never the same.
So I stand some 30 years later around a work table with a couple of punks and the adults placed in charge of them and I pretend that the elephant in the room is not there.
I should have told the punk to shut the hell up. I should have yanked his dumb ass out of the room and told him how stupid and ignorant what he said was.
I should have done something, anything.
Instead, I let it melt and slip through the cracks and slide it's slimy slithery self onto the floor and out of the room.
It's destruction, though mighty, was silent.
Just like the bomb I dropped so long ago.
Shame on me, times two..... :-(